Import of historical financial transactions
From a client message to tech support:
Is there a way to import the financial data that has been accumulated in our current system into Wild Apricot? I am specifically looking at gifts/donations, membership amounts and event ticket purchases over the past 5 years, with dates and dollars. We would prefer not to lose that history if we transfer over to your product. I was able to find the discussion about importing the member records, but I wasn't able to find the topic of importing financial records covered in your help guides. If you could point me in the right direction, I would much appreciate it.
We do not currently have a way to import this data but it is obvious it would be great to have it. At the moment I am not even sure about the feasibility of this because the data structure of financial transactions can vary greatly between different systems.
Nevertheless, I would appreciate input:
- how important is this for you
- what system/format you are transferring from
- what are the key fields you would like to import (for each transaction type)
Deborah Stoll commented
This is a huge feature for us. We have years of member donations, and need a central place to record it. It looks like this feature was requested years ago. I see a reference to an improvement in 5.9, but I can't find any info on the release notes. I am being pressured to move from WA to donor management software, and not being able to import may e a showstopper for us. Thanks so much.
There is no way to import historical transactions yet, but in upcoming 5.9. release there are significant improvements in API, related to managing finances. So, according to our API developers team, you will be able to create invoices, payments and donations via API.
Oleg, Product designer @ Payments team
We also have a customer who is transitioning off Salesforce.com and has financial transactions stored there. They can export this data in a simple CSV file. Even a mandatory format for donations import would be nice since we can transform the data to fit Wild Apricot's requirements in Excel before import.
Alterntively opening the API to support financial transactions would be helpful.
In the end this is about how much data there is to import. Clerically speaking, if there are only a few hundred this can be done manually using the backend UI. If there are a few thousands to tens of thousand it becomes quite a problem.
I have thought about a workaround that involves storing historical transaction data as part of the contact record but this really is the worst case scenario.
Doug Armstrong commented
Our club collects money for reasons other than membership and events. For example, we rent moorings and dock slips, we have storage facilities, and trailers etc. Folks run tabs in the restaurant and bar.
Our members want to pay for everything in one place. Would be great if we could import external member billing items (invoices) and have WA manage payment for these.
I can totally understand and let me be frank with you: as of now, I do not see that we're going to have this feature in this year. And this also does not mean that next year we're going to do this, cannot commit to this either.
I am contemplating leaving WA or going to a free platform and using something like donor perfect -- your donation management features are very undeveloped. Currently our donation history is in a bunch of excel spreadsheets.
E Norman commented
We also need to import years of financial history. Has there been any update to this request?
Alex Rubenstein commented
We too need a way to import transactions. In our case, we are looking to import what you would consider a "payment". But it would be nice to be able to import invoices, payments, discounts, etc.
We also are very interested in importing donations. We have a history of multiple years of donations in our Access database. Even the WA API does not allow donation importing, only payments. Our requirements are fairly straightforward. Ideally we would import a spreadsheet of donations. One column would contain the existing WA ID. Additional columns would match up with the system fields for donations and the user defined custom donation fields. We would be satisfied with importing only new donations and having you auto-number them as they are imported.
I suspect one thing that must be thought about is the possibility that someone imports a bunch of donations and then realize that they made some type of mistake and need to delete them. It would be nice for this and many other reasons to be able to delete all donations that were imported in a particular import.
We also have this need ongoing for transactions (current -- not historical) that occur outside WA. Memberships (subscriptions) are sold to Libraries by Agents who act as a resellers for many different academic periodicals. We get batches of memberships (subscriptions) orders with physical checks or ACH transfers from different agents which then have to be manually entered into WA. (Bundle admins are not appropriate here.)
Thanks for the comment, Brad. I noticed that you mentioned related problem in another thread - importing events and attendees. So I can see that you basically interested in migration of your old data into Wild Apricot?
I want to add my vote for this feature. I am new to Wildapricot, but have a 10 year old organization. I would like to capture the history of our membership activity. Without an import for financial transactions and events, I won't be able to accomplish my goal.
We would definitely like to be able to import financial transactions, especially donations. Our current system can export to Excel (csv) so that would be fine for format. As for fields, we'd be happy to start with something basic - donor (link to contact would be fine), amount, date, payment method, and notes. We also tag donations according to campaign and fund, but those could be custom fields (if you could allow for importing of data into those fields as with contacts that would be excellent).
Let us know if you need more detail.
We just hit a major brick wall here. We're in the process of launching a brand new website and we had hoped to replace our current donation database with WA. The discovery that we cannot import historical donation data is going to create huge headaches for us. Now, just as before our education department and our development department will have 2 separate records going. We thought we would be able to combine them and when we searched a member we'd see what educational programs they've registered for and their giving history. Major major bummer for us!
The ability to freely import information (i.e. donations, invoices, truncations, etc.) into the WildApricot system would be a big boost for efficiency for users of your service. It would be very similar to the feature that allows you to import contacts/users into WildApricot.